Nate Ferrentino and Rachel Jessop are private investigators for the secretive Department 6, a private security company, and they are sent on a special mission to infiltrate the religious group, The Church of the Covenant. Their objective is to locate a missing teenage girl and investigate the Church's charismatic, yet manipulative leader, Ethan Wycliff, and his possible involvement in her disappearance.
Nate and Rachel are supposed to be a married couple seeking religious enlightenment with The Church of the Covenant but have difficulties in the beginning with this assignment because of a sexual encounter they had with each other six months ago. Both of them pretend that night never happened even though they are both secretly in love with one another. Rachel is the perfect candidate for this job because she was raised in a religious cult as a child and is able to understand the appeal that Ethan's group provides people. When Ethan is finally introduced to Rachel, he is instantly attracted to her and chooses her to become his "bride." This "honor" involves Rachel becoming pregnant with Ethan's child in a religious ceremony that takes place in front of the entire church.
This book was a very enjoyable read for me and I got swept along with the storyline. Nate and Rachel had true romantic feelings for each other that they both tried to deny due to their past experiences. By the end of this book, you wanted these two to get together and finally admit that they were perfect for each other. Ethan, on the other hand, was a prime example of how power can corrupt a person. His church did horrible things to its members in the name of God and some of the scenes in this book were a little disturbing to read. The last part of the book was a real page turner and I stayed up most of the night trying to get to the ending. I wanted to see if Nate would be able to save Rachel from Ethan's clutches, or would he lose her to this new "family" that reminded her so much of the family she had lost. Great story and I'm looked forward to reading the other two in this trilogy.
Paradise? In name only…
Nate Ferrentino and Rachel Jessop are operatives for Department 6, a private security company, and they’re going undercover to expose a new and dangerous cult.
This group has taken up residence in the Arizona desert, in a ghost town called Paradise. Members worship at the feet—and in the bed--of its charismatic leader, Ethan Wycliff. On his orders, they tried to stone a woman to death. And they’re implicated in the disappearance of a teenage girl.
To expose the Church of the Covenant, with its arcane rituals and debauched practices, Nate and Rachel must pretend to be married. That’s the only way they can get in—but being Nate’s “wife” is the last thing Rachel wants. She and Nate have a one-night history that’s just an embarrassment to her now. But they don’t have a choice. Wycliff has to be stopped.